Feral pigs are breeding more than ever across North West NSW following the arrival of La Nina, leading to crop damage worth millions of dollars.
Senior biosecurity officer with North West Local Land Service (LLS) David Lindsay, said that last year saw $47 million worth of crop damage caused by pigs.
He said wet conditions brought on by La Nina have meant that food is readily available, and they can now breed all year round.
"With perfect conditions there's no reason why the sows won't go back, get pregnant, and have large litters," he said.
North West LLS has implemented both aerial shooting and 1080 poison baiting programs in a bid to control the rapid growth in the pig population.
However, Mr Lindsay said that while these approaches have been effective where they have been implemented, the problem is region wide.
"It's really hard to put a finger on exactly where it is. It's anywhere within our region to be honest. You'll probably find anywhere where there's more crops growing, that seems to be the bigger problem," he said.
"Anyone who's trying to plant at the moment, particularly with chickpeas where you've got a larger seed, pigs are really good at cleaning up chickpeas and can do a lot of damage in a crop."
In those areas where the population has been controlled more effectively, Mr Lindsay said it comes down to the community working together using 1080 poison and aerial shooting.
"When neighbours are getting together and working as a group to control pigs, they're by far getting the greatest results," he said.
While there have been concerns raised about the use of 1080 poison, it can only be obtained from Local Land Services.
Landholders are also being warned it is lethal against dogs.
In the current winter conditions the carcasses of the pigs killed by 1080 take much longer to decompose.
Mr Lindsay said that means that dogs have longer to seek out and consume the carcass, while 1080 is still lethally present.
"Every one of those pigs that dies is potentially a bait for domestic dogs, so people with dogs have to be very careful around those pig carcasses," he said.
"It is part of the requirements [of being allowed to use 1080] that they should try and pick up those carcasses and destroy them. Bury them if they can. But you know, I've never known anyone who's been able to find every carcass."
Mr Lindsay said those looking to use 1080 need to have a chemical user card.
"We've also been running 1080 training courses, which will cover you to use 1080," he said.
The course covers numerous regulations besides disposing of carcasses that need to be abided by, including restrictions on the range over which baiting may be conducted and free-feeding pigs at least three times before baiting is used.
Mr Lindsay said that if anyone is interested in running a baiting program, they should give their LLS a call to speak with a biosecurity officer and they can get underway once they are authorised and their property undergoes some initial checks.
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